by Jak Richardson - 'I am an aspiring sports journalist currently studying at UCFB Wembley in multimedia sports journalism. If there’s one thing I enjoy more than watching football, it’s being able to write about it, hence why I am so excited to have the opportunity to be part of The FA Young Reporters' Club. The FA Cup is part of what makes English football magic and I hope to be able to encapsulate that magic in my writing.'
Arsenal twice came from behind before running riot in extra time against north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to secure a 5-2 victory in the FA Youth Cup fourth round.
The Gunners found a second wind in the extra 30 minutes and scored three superb goals as Spurs capitulated.
There was a pre-game buzz around the stadium with close to a thousand fans eager to see how their beloved clubs’ young talent would do on an intense derby occasion.
- FA Youth Cup
- Fourth Round
- Thursday 17 January
- at Boreham Wood FC
Tottenham started the brighter of the two sides. They attacked with intent and were in front on seven minutes after a slick passage of play was started and finished by captain Armando Shashoua. The clever attacker showed quick feet to begin the passing move before bursting into the box where he was found unmarked by Troy Parrot to tap in.
With the crowd behind them, Arsenal continued pressing and equalised just six minutes later. Harvey White was caught in possession 25 yards from his own goal by Ben Cottrell, who drove into the box and smashed a left-foot shot into the top corner, past a helpless Joshua Oluwayemi.
Chances dried up until 10 minutes before the break when Spurs retook the lead. Left-back Dennis Cirkin drove forward and slid a ball into Paris Maghoma who in turn found J’Neil Bennett at the back post to turn home.
But Arsenal came out firing on all cylinders after the break and were awarded a penalty just five minutes after the restart. Bukayo Saka found the net via the inside of the post, drawing a deep gasp followed by an eruption of joy from the crowd.
The Gunners dominated the second half for large spells but they were unable to complete a comeback inside 90 minutes. And after working hard to reach extra-time Arsenal were keen to capitalise. They did exactly that.
They took the lead for the first time when, after a powerful run, Folarin Balogun unselfishly squared to Xavier Amaechi to convert.
Arsenal turned the screw just moments later when Amaechi's strike was parried into the path of Balogun who had the easy job of finishing into an empty net.
The final 15 minutes belonged to the fans, who were dancing in the stands. The terraces were not the only place to find excitement, though, as Saka powered a shot into the top corner to complete a 5-2 rout and secure a place in round five.